Kawasaki has received five new tenders to assume responsibility for its factory World Superbike operation, potentially replacing Paul Bird Motorsport.
The Japanese manufacturer is currently in the final year of a three-year agreement with the British-based outfit, prompting several teams to signal their intentions to take over from 2012.
In an interview with Motosprint.it
, Kawasaki technical director Ichiro Yoda confirmed five teams are chasing the elevated factory status, including Francis Batta's Alstare team, which is considering its options having seen its support from long-time partners Suzuki dwindle in recent years.
Additionally, Team Pedercini, which has been Kawasaki's satellite operation since 2008, and Supersonic Racing, which runs a single Ducati for Maxime Berger currently, have expressed their interest, as has British Superbike team MSS Colchester, while Kawasaki's title-contending Motocard.com World Supersport team is also likely to be considered a favourite.
“We has received six requests (including PBM), all from high quality team sand we are currently evaluating them,” Yoda said. “We'll make our decision in August because we want to start development early.”
Though Kawasaki has achieved some notable results with PBM, including two pole positions from Tom Sykes, its reputation was harmed in the wake of drugs being discovered in one of the team trucks earlier this year.
Even so, though the tenders have been submitted, Kawasaki may still retain the services of PBM beyond this season.